As a serious athlete, I have always been taught to “control what I can control”. When umpires, fans, weather, and other external stressors attempt to easily rattle me, I am expected to remain within myself. It is my responsibility to keep myself calm and focused, no matter the conditions around me.
Though this may seem challenging, I’ve become practiced at understanding my mental powers. When seeking to harness your mind, I want you to know that it is okay to cheat. Here are some physical and tangible ways I tap into peak performance:
- flip an actual light switch placed in the dugout that signifies I’m in “compete mode”
- as I change for practice or a game, I am forgetting the school day I had. I take my shirt off… there goes the girl that rejected me. I take my socks off… there goes the math test I failed
- with each article of clothing I put on for practice or a game, I become more and more a baseball player. As soon as my cleats are laced, I am a baseball player who has forgotten all about his personal life
- when I unlace my cleats and change back into civilian clothes (after reflection on my performance), I’m a student again. I’m a person, a son, and a friend
- every time I look at the very top of the right field flag pole, I refocus. I get zoned back in. Every field has one
- when I have a negative thought, I take my hat off to let it go. When my hat comes back on, I have forgotten that thought and replaced it with a positive one
Some ways to “cheat” in your spiritual life:
- use 3×5 cards for everything. If you often get sidetracked during prayers, write down what you want to say and just read that
- write down specific temptations you’ll face, and when and where you’ll face them next. Then formulate a plan and recite it out loud (“When Satan tempts me tomorrow morning at 7:30 to be mad at my wife for … I will instead do the dishes and leave her a kind note”)
Do you see a pattern? By using small and simple external buttons, you can activate a mindset.
When considering how we must dominate in all things we do, we too often assume that we must be in Hulk mode all the time. This is a faulty assumption, and physically impossible for us. There certainly should be a switch on the circuit board of your soul, however, that activates Hulk mode. Though it does not last forever, it can be valuable sometimes.
A warrior is peaceful. Warrior chemistry is often the most powerful when it is quiet. There is an element of the unknown about a warrior that terrifies the enemy. A Samurai warrior is very quick and efficient with his actions. He seeks to make each movement as effective as possible.
This meaning in every action connects one to the power of his mind and soul, along with the power of God and how He empowers one’s soul. There is a saying that some people feel the rain, while others just get wet. I have a philosophy of disconnecting from negative thoughts and/or emotions. “Let it go and let it flow,” has been my mantra. If somebody does me wrong or annoys me, let it go. So what? If I miss a pitch or take a bad swing, so what? Next pitch.
I often wonder how the Nephite warriors were able to live in a way that they could slaughter Lamanites one day and teach Primary the next. I believe that they truly had to learn how to balance themselves.
There are many extremes in our lives, like unto the Nephites. And it doesn’t help that the world all around us is shaking. However, we have a beautiful power that can be harnessed through self-awareness and connection with God. No matter how you find it, balance in a shaking world is an incredibly joyful trait to possess.
How do you balance yourself?